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Expert Opinion

The importance of temperature control in sports centres

Sports centres, whether it’s a gym or leisure centre attract clients, who are expected to sweat a little depending on their activity. With that, it’s very important for keeping customers happy, that these venues need suitable air condition units and HVAC systems installed, in order to maintain an optimal temperature levels and prevent overheating or cold temperature conditions.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Daikin to explore the importance of maintaining a comfortable temperature within a sports centres, as well as what temperatures are considered appropriate to achieve this.

Duty of care and responsibilities

As it goes, there aren’t any regulations regarding specific temperatures within a gym or leisure centre according to Health and Safety Executive. But normal health and safety legislation covers the vast majority of other safety requirements at the gym. In terms of temperature, although there are no fixed regulations specifically for gyms and leisure centres, we can use minimum workplace temperature requirements as an estimate of what constitutes a comfortable temperature during activity.

The Approved Code of Practice recommends that 16°C is considered to be a comfortable temperature within a workplace. Work requiring “rigorous physical effort” is placed a little lower, at 13°C. Again, this isn’t a legal requirement, but it gives an idea of what an optimum temperature is for comfortably engaging in physical activity.

Sport England had produced a handy guide for exercise spaces and fitness centres, which outlined the ideal temperatures for customers:

  • Fitness Gym – 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 64°F) in the summer, with “comfort cooling” as needed.
  • Studios – 18°C (64°F), with a slight summer rise acceptable.

High temperatures in sports centres

If a sport centre becomes too hot, it can be a torturous experience for those working out. Plus, it’s a risky activity; dehydration and heat stroke are notable risks of working out in an overheated gym. But even just sweating too much can be a problem. We Be Fit notes that while over-sweating can cause gym-goers to notice an extra pound of weight loss at the end of their workout, the weight lost is fluids from sweating and will be negated with a drink. The article suggests that working out in an overheated gym for a long period can result in a 50% less effective workout! All that sweating for nothing.

Cold temperatures in sports centres

Freezing temperatures in the gym, can just be as difficult for those working out as an overheating gym. My Inner Go looked at the pros and cons of working out in a cold environment and found that chilly temperatures brought with it a higher risk of injury. This is because muscles tend to seize up in the cold (which is why warming up before physical activity is so important). The website offered a great analogy for cold muscles: consider them like Play-Doh! When Play-Doh gets cold, it goes stiff and doesn’t stretch, it just snaps. But warm Play-Doh is stretchy and flexible.

Keeping the temperatures regulated in sports centres

It’s important for sport centres to consider all the rooms within the building when regulating the temperature. Investing in an efficient, responsive air conditioning system will help regulate a comfortable temperature within the building, with units in Daikin’s air conditioning range offering low energy consumption models to fit your carbon emission targets.

For workouts to be successful, it’s crucial for temperatures to be comfortable. Keeping a good temperature through a facility will ensure customers stay happy and are more likely to keep coming back. If the gym starts to get a reputation for being freezing cold or too stuffy, gym goers will quickly turn to other establishments.